Monday, January 10, 2011

1 Chicken, 4 Hungry Mouths, 3 Delicious Dinners

Has anyone else noticed that chicken doesn't have bones anymore? Or skin for that matter. At least that's how it is in the grocery store. Everything is bonelessskinless. I can appreciate that sometimes bonelessskinless chicken is quicker to thaw and cook, it's healthier without the skin etc. But really, is it worth the extra price? Meat is one of the most expensive things on my grocery list. Anyone researching ways to cut down their grocery bill has probably read umpteen articles about how using more beans and lentils in place of meat is a good way to cut down the bill. I use this method myself and have come across many delicious no-meat recipes that I regularly integrate into our menu. But sometimes I just want some mean, ya know? So the cheapest way for me to go about buying chicken is, surprisingly, to buy a whole chicken. A regular, 4-5lb chicken costs me about $4.50 ($12-13 if I'm going free range organic, but that's not always in the budget). I don't know if you've ever noticed, but that's a whole lotta chicken. More than we'll eat at one dinner unless we have company over. So I roast the chicken (that beauty up above was dinner for us this past Thursday). Then I make 3 dinners out of it. Yeah, 4-ish dollars worth of chicken spread over three meals for 4 mouths (Margaux's not counted here because she's still nursing :)). Pretty sweet, eh? Check it out:

Thursday: Roast chicken with mashed potatoes, corn, and salad. After dinner, I took the rest of the chicken that we didn't eat off of the carcass and put it in a ziploc bag.

Friday: Angel hair pasta with pesto and about 1/2 of the leftover chicken, crusty bread, and salad. (I even had enough left overs for my lunch for the next 2 days!)

Saturday: BBQ Chicken Pizza. Made pizza dough, poured BBQ sauce over remaining chicken, dumped chicken on dough, spread with mozz and cheddar, added some onions and pickles and VOILA! We had my brother and sister in law over with their 3 kids and had plenty to go around.

I'd say I spent roughly $20 on these 3 meals including the chicken. I didn't have to buy certain things like the flour and yeast for the pizza dough because I keep those stocked in my pantry, but even if I did need to buy them, it wouldn't cost much more!

Another awesome thing about this is that it saves a bunch of time. The chicken was roasted on Thursday, so on Friday all I had to do was boil some pasta and blend up some pesto. So, it saves time and money... now that's speaking my language :).

Try it out for yourself!


  1. Thanks for linking up this wonderful way to fix tons of chicken and save $money! I'm definitely trying this :)! Hope to see another linkup from you next Monday.

  2. I like to stretch out the uses for my whole chicken too, so thank you for these recipes. I also use the chicken carcass for a soup stock. With onions and garlic, it it supposed to be helpful in fighting off colds and flu.